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Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2017, CCSI sent comments to the World Bank regarding its Draft Guidance Note for Borrowers ESS5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement.

CCSI’s overarching comments on the Guidance Note were that:

  • Its description of affected persons and their rights contradicts and undermines international consensus on land governance supported by the Bank
  • It fails to provide any guidance on when involuntary resettlement should be considered unavoidable or how Borrowers can prioritize project designs that actually minimize displacement or other harms
  • It fails to put rights-holders (or “affected stakeholders”) at the center of solutions
  • Its discussion ...


Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, will conduct a country visit to the United States in December 2017. In response to his call for input, CCSI sent a submission focused the United States’ role in the international investment regime, and the United States’ international investment agreements (IIAs), noting that the IIAs to which the US is a party raise tensions, and can potentially create conflicts, with the US’s human rights obligations, including those that apply extraterritorially, and exacerbate conditions of poverty, extreme poverty and inequality.


At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Dec 2017

At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This Article explores how host governments’ legal obligations can affect or constrain their ability to address “land grievances,” which are defined as concerns raised by local individuals or communities in response to negative impacts of land-based investments. Obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts can be in tension or can directly conflict with one another, creating complexity for governments seeking to respond to land grievances. To explore the legal considerations that governments must navigate in this context, this Article considers several options that governments could pursue to respond to land grievances. In all of the ...


Amicus Brief On Rights To Information And Public Participation In Colombia, Brooke Guven, Sam Szoke-Burke, Pedro Villegas Dec 2017

Amicus Brief On Rights To Information And Public Participation In Colombia, Brooke Guven, Sam Szoke-Burke, Pedro Villegas

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI submitted an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia concerning the Tutela hearing of Mansarovar Energy Colombia Ltd. v. Tribunal Administrativo del Meta (The Consulta Popular of Cumaral, Meta). The hearing concerned a challenge by Mansarovar Energy Colombia Limited of a municipal-wide referendum (the Consulta Popular) concerning whether or not the extraction of hydrocarbons should be permitted in the municipality of Cumaral. The municipality voted 97% against allowing the extraction of hydrocarbons.

CCSI’s brief focused on the international human rights law dimensions of the case, given that Colombia’s Constitution renders the government’s international human rights ...


International Gas Outlook And Implications For Developing Tanzania’S Gas Projects, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Thomas Mitro Dec 2017

International Gas Outlook And Implications For Developing Tanzania’S Gas Projects, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Thomas Mitro

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the frame of its partnership with Uongozi – Tanzania, CCSI drafted a brief that reviews recent international gas developments, the outlook in this regard and implications for the development of proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As the country aims to benefit from its gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, it also outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations that need to be taken into account when negotiating the domestic gas allocation.


230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Oct 2017

230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI helped launch a letter signed by over 230 law and economics professors urging President Trump to remove ISDS provisions from NAFTA. As the letter notes, the ISDS mechanism “undermines the important roles of our domestic and democratic institutions, threatens domestic sovereignty, and weakens the rule of law.” The letter builds upon the center’s past work, including a similar letter published last year calling on Congress to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership for its inclusion of ISDS, and broader analyses of both the threat that ISDS poses to domestic US law and of the ISDS provisions that were included ...


Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum Oct 2017

Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in ...


Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson Oct 2017

Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire ...


India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta Oct 2017

India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2015, the Indian government approved the final text of its revised model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Shortly thereafter, in February 2016, India published a joint interpretative statement to clarify its understanding of certain treaty provisions found in existing Indian treaties. These recent developments in Indian investment treaty policy are products of a multi-year review process ,prompted at least in part by the 2011 finding against India in the White Industries claim - the first such known finding against the state – and by several notices of dispute received following the determination in that case.


Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2017

Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Comments to USTR Re: Review of US Trade and Investment Agreements (July 17, 2017): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its performance review of US trade and investment agreements, submitted Comments that focused on the impact that investment protection provisions, enforceable through investor-state dispute settlement, have on rights-compliant, inclusive sustainable development within the United States and abroad.


How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Jun 2017

How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have published a briefing note summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand ...


The Settlement Of Investment Disputes: A Discussion Of Democratic Accountability And The Public Interest, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven Mar 2017

The Settlement Of Investment Disputes: A Discussion Of Democratic Accountability And The Public Interest, Lise Johnson, Brooke Guven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In this briefing note, CCSI considers the threats to principles of good governance, including government accountability, respect for the rule of law, transparency, and respect for citizens’ rights and interests under domestic law and international human rights norms, that are posed by the settlement of treaty-based investor-state disputes. The authors also consider the exacerbated threats posed by the settlement of disputes that include government counterclaims, and highlight the need for the ISDS reform agenda to include a focus on these issues.


Submission Regarding Amendments To The Icsid Arbitration Rules, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2017

Submission Regarding Amendments To The Icsid Arbitration Rules, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI submitted comments to the ICSID Secretariat regarding proposed revisions to ICSID’s arbitration rules. CCSI’s submission provided illustrative suggestions for amendments regarding the following issues: recognizing and safeguarding of the rights and interests of non-parties; improving transparency of the dispute resolution process; promoting transparency of ownership over investments; preventing actual and apparent conflicts of interest; addressing concerns raised by third-party funding; ensuring legitimacy of settlement agreements; and ensuring legitimacy of the rule revision process itself.


Public Consultation On A Multilateral Reform Of Investment Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2017

Public Consultation On A Multilateral Reform Of Investment Dispute Settlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017 CCSI made a submission to the European Commission (EC) in response to its “Public consultation on a multilateral reform of investment dispute settlement.” CCSI’s submission consisted of a response to the form questionnaire created by the EC and a supplementary “Position Paper” to explain in greater depth CCSI’s views on the EC’s proposed Multilateral Investment Court (MIC).

In its Position Paper, CCSI emphasizes the importance of international investment and international law to sustainable development objectives. The submission stresses, however, that the EC’s proposed MIC does not address, and therefore does not remedy, the ...


A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tulika Bansal, Manon Aubrey, Adrien Le Louarn, Jeremy Perelman, Marie Poirot Mar 2017

A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tulika Bansal, Manon Aubrey, Adrien Le Louarn, Jeremy Perelman, Marie Poirot

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This discussion paper, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, proposes a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust.

The paper outlines factors that will affect the effectiveness of such an approach and describes a number ...


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based investments, such as agricultural or forestry projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This has serious implications for requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly important in situations in which investor-state contracts grant the investor rights to lands or resources over which the community has legitimate claims.

The paper explores how consultation and FPIC processes can be integrated into ...


Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Articulating A Rights-Based Argument For Land Contract Disclosure, Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In March 2017, CCSI presented a working paper titled "Articulating a Rights-Basted Argument for Land Contract Disclosure" at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference. The paper explores whether and how existing state obligations under human rights law require disclosure of land contracts and more transparent contracting processes around land investments. It focuses on the extent to which guidelines for responsible land-based investment, which encourage greater transparency, reflect existing host and home state obligations. Based on a review of relevant human rights law and authoritative interpretations thereof, the paper articulates rights-based arguments for land contract disclosure, based in particular on rights ...


Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute For Human Rights, Sciences Po Law School Clinic Mar 2017

Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute For Human Rights, Sciences Po Law School Clinic

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This briefing note, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, outlines a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust. It accompanies a more in-depth discussion paper on similar issues, entitled A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights ...


Freedom Of Information Beyond The Freedom Of Information Act, David Pozen Jan 2017

Freedom Of Information Beyond The Freedom Of Information Act, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows any person to request any agency record for any reason. This model has been copied worldwide and celebrated as a structural necessity in a real democracy. Yet in practice, this Article argues, FOIA embodies a distinctively “reactionary” form of transparency. FOIA is reactionary in a straightforward, procedural sense in that disclosure responds to ad hoc demands for information. Partly because of this very feature, FOIA can also be seen as reactionary in a more substantive, political sense insofar as it saps regulatory capacity; distributes government goods in an inegalitarian fashion; and ...


Blind Spot: The Attention Economy And The Law, Tim Wu Jan 2017

Blind Spot: The Attention Economy And The Law, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Human attention is a resource. An increasingly large and important sector of the economy, including firms such as Google, Facebook, Snap, along with parts of the traditional media, currently depend on attentional markets for their revenue. Their business model, however, present a challenge for laws premised on the presumption of cash markets. This paper introduces a novel economic and legal analysis of attention markets centered on the “attention broker,” the firms that attract and resell attention to advertisers. The analysis has important payouts for two areas: antitrust analysis, and in particular the oversight of mergers in high technology markets, as ...


The Utility Of Finance, Shlomit Azgad-Tromer, Eric L. Talley Jan 2017

The Utility Of Finance, Shlomit Azgad-Tromer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Public Utilities Commissions (PUCs) are charged with regulating a public utility’s rates at levels that serve the public’s interest while allowing the utility’s investors to earn a rate commensurate with that expected by businesses facing similar risks. Although the process of adjusting rates for risk is a staple of modern finance, we know surprisingly little about how well accomplish their regulatory mandate when judged against the benchmarks of financial economics. This article analyzes a dozen years’ worth of gas and electric rate-setting decisions from PUCs in the United States and Canada, demonstrating empirically that allowed returns on ...


Law And Corporate Governance, Robert P. Bartlett, Eric L. Talley Jan 2017

Law And Corporate Governance, Robert P. Bartlett, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Pragmatic and effective research on corporate governance often turns critically on appreciating the legal institutions surrounding corporate entities – yet such nuances are often unfamiliar or poorly specified to economists and other social scientists without legal training. This chapter organizes and discusses key legal concepts of corporate governance, including statutes, regulations, and jurisprudential doctrines that “govern governance” in private and public companies, with concentration on the for-profit corporation. We review the literature concerning the nature and purpose of the corporation, the objects of fiduciary obligations, the means for decision making within the firm, as well as the overlay of state and ...


Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2017

Guide To Land Contracts: Forestry Projects, International Senior Lawyers Project, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Agricultural investment contracts and forestry projects can be complex, with complicated provisions that are difficult to understand. To assist non-lawyers in better understanding agricultural investment contracts, such as those available on the Open Land Contracts repository, CCSI has developed a Guide to Land Contracts: Forestry Projects.

This Guide, prepared by International Senior Lawyers Project staff and volunteers in collaboration with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, aims to assist the Open Land Contracts repository users in unpacking the technical provisions and language typically found in forestry contracts in order to better understand the contracts and the potential implications of specific ...


Submission On The Draft General Comment On “State Obligations Under The Icescr In The Context Of Business Activities”, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jan 2017

Submission On The Draft General Comment On “State Obligations Under The Icescr In The Context Of Business Activities”, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In January 2017 CCSI made a submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, regarding its draft General Comment on “State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of Business Activities.” CCSI’s submission focused on: (1) host and home states’ obligations as they relate to international investment agreements (IIAs); (2) extraterritorial obligations in the context of outward investment; and (3) state obligations related to corruption issues.

In the submission, CCSI emphasized that states must ensure that existing treaties do not generate conflicts between obligations owed under IIAs and the Covenant ...


Debating Autonomous Weapon Systems, Their Ethics, And Their Regulation Under International Law, Kenneth Anderson, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2017

Debating Autonomous Weapon Systems, Their Ethics, And Their Regulation Under International Law, Kenneth Anderson, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

An international public debate over the law and ethics of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) has been underway since 2012, with those urging legal regulation of AWS under existing principles and requirements of the international law of armed conflict, on the one side, in argument with opponents who favor, instead, a preemptive international treaty ban on all such weapons, on the other. This Chapter provides an introduction to this international debate, offering the main arguments on each side. These include disputes over defining an AWS, the morality and law of automated targeting and target selection by machine, and the interaction of ...


The 1593 Antonio Tempesta Map Of Rome, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2017

The 1593 Antonio Tempesta Map Of Rome, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay examines Florentine painter and engraver Antonio Tempesta’s 1593 petition for a Papal printing privilege on his great bird’s-eye view Map of Rome. The arguments Tempesta made in support of his request for the exclusive rights to print, sell and control variations on his map evoke justifications spanning the full range of modern intellectual property rhetoric, from fear of unscrupulous competitors, to author-centric rationales. Invocations of labor and investment and unfair competition-based justifications were familiar – indeed ubiquitous – in Tempesta’s time, and still echo today. Long before the 1710 British Statute of Anne (vesting exclusive rights in ...


In Memoriam: Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, Gerard E. Lynch Jan 2017

In Memoriam: Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, Gerard E. Lynch

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Equality Law Pluralism, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2017

Equality Law Pluralism, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

This contribution to the Constance Baker Motley Symposium examines the future of civil rights reform at a time in which longstanding limitations of the antidiscrimination law framework, as well as newer pressures such as the rise of economic populism, are placing stress on the traditional antidiscrimination project. This Essay explores the openings that nevertheless remain in public law for confronting persistent forms of exclusion and makes the case for greater pluralism in equality law frameworks. In particular, this Essay examines innovations that widen the range of regulatory levers for promoting inclusion, such as competitive grants, tax incentives, contests for labor ...


Energy Subsidies: Worthy Goals, Competing Priorities, And Flawed Institutional Design, David M. Schizer Jan 2017

Energy Subsidies: Worthy Goals, Competing Priorities, And Flawed Institutional Design, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The United States uses on targeted subsidies for both "green" energy and hydrocarbons. These subsidies pursue worthwhile goals. But unfortunately, many have design flaws that make them less effective or even counterproductive. The goal of this Article is to show how to do better.

Specifically, this Article focuses on three sets of issues. First, there often is tension between our environmental and national security goals. Unfortunately, the economics literature on energy largely ignores these trade-offs by omitting national security from the analysis. This Article takes issue with this approach and suggests ways to manage these trade-offs. Second, this Article argues ...


The Abortion Closet (With A Note On Rules And Standards), David E. Pozen Jan 2017

The Abortion Closet (With A Note On Rules And Standards), David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

An enormous amount of information and insight is packed into Carol Sanger's About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First Century America. The book is anchored in post-1973 American case law. Yet it repeatedly incorporates examples and ideas from popular culture, prior historical periods, moral philosophy, feminist theory, medicine, literature and the visual arts, and more.